This week Rebecca Moore shares her thoughts and insights into the power of cyclical living. She explores how reconnecting with Nature's patterns and cycles can improve mental and physical health, increase productivity, self-acceptance and interconnection.
We are all cyclical beings, growing and evolving in a state of constant metamorphosis within a series of infinitely repeatable patterns. And yet, all too often we get caught in a linear mindset that puts us out of touch with our cyclical nature. Cyclical living is a way of reconnecting with the cycles and patterns of the natural world so that we can ebb and flow with life rather than against it.
Before finding my way I lived a very fast-paced "work hard, party harder” lifestyle. I was completely absorbed in linear time and the widespread expectation to work and create at a consistent and unchanging pace. Taking time out to do little or nothing made me feel uneasy and I would often judge myself for feeling tired, ignoring my body’s call for rest. I was totally disconnected from myself and oblivious to both the internal and external cycles I was journeying through. Resistance and stress were building up in my body and eventually I burnt out, suffering a prolonged period of severe fatigue as a result. I was forced to stop and reassess everything. Taking time to study holistic health and embarking on various practitioner training is where I became exposed to the magic of cyclical living. In the process, I began to realign my life using nature’s cycles and my own inner rhythm as my guide.
In ancient times, following nature's cycles was a normal way of being; living in connection with the land and in accordance with the seasons, rising with the sun and resting as it sets. Nowadays of course things look a lot different. While we cannot completely reject the modern world, finding ways to return to nature’s rhythms has widespread benefits, including better mental and physical health, increased productivity and awareness, self-acceptance, reconnection to our intuitive nature and an increased sense of interconnection. The best thing about cyclical living is that everyone can connect with it in their own way.
Below I have briefly outlined some tips you can use to begin to explore:
RISE WITH THE SUN
A biological rhythm that most people are already connected with is the diurnal sleep-wake cycle. Many of the conditions and conveniences of modern life cause disruption to this cycle, leading to sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Rising with the sun helps to regulate and reset our circadian clock, keeping us more alert during the day and supporting our sleep cycle at night. Sunrise is also one of the most beautiful natural phenomena on this planet. Just being in the moment when the sun is rising can take you into a deep meditative state, creating space for new positive energy for your day. If you have space in your morning for it, set an alarm 10 minutes before the sun is due to come up every day for a week to acclimatise. Then lose the alarm and notice the natural rhythm you slip into.
SYNC WITH THE SEASONS
Connecting to the energy of the ever-changing seasons is a beautiful and simple way to embrace cyclical living. Adjusting the way that you eat, sleep, work and play in accordance to the time of the year carries so many benefits. Eating foods that are naturally in season not only tastes better but also provides a lot more nutrition. Allowing yourself to rest more during the darker autumn and winter months helps prepare you for the upward expansive energy that spring and summer bring. Get to know the qualities of each season and how you relate to them mentally, emotionally, physically and energetically.
RITUALS AND RECIPES
As life ebbs and flows so does our energy, moods and needs. Finding the rituals and recipes that best support you within different phases of your life is key — whether that be a single day, a 4-week period or from season to season. For example, I incorporate functional foods and adaptogens into my diet to support the different phases of my menstrual cycle, which for me also coincides with the 4-week lunar cycle. A mug of cacao with reishi and ashwagandha is my go-to when I’m feeling restless and ungrounded just before my bleed. I use cordyceps for extra energy throughout my cycle, except during my bleed when I give myself full permission to rest. Spiking my salad dressings with lion’s mane helps me to focus when my energy peaks during ovulation. Lauren Lovatt’s Mind Food book is my inspiration for all kinds of mood-boosting recipes. Being aware of our varying needs and having the tools to support those needs enables us to create an aligned and empowered life.
DIVERSIFY YOUR DAY
Lastly, a tip for daily life to keep you connected. There are many advantages to routine and repetition but it's easy to default into autopilot mode when doing the same things, in the same way, each day. Stirring things up a bit increases mindfulness and makes life more interesting. I personally love variety which is reflected in how I spend my days. Some activities are non-negotiable, like brushing my teeth and sitting in meditation, but others change day to day depending on how I feel when I wake up. If you thrive more as a creature of habit try incorporating simple changes, like brushing your teeth with the opposite hand or finding a new spot to enjoy your morning coffee. Meeting consistency with a bit of disruption keeps you awake and embodied.
I hope this introduction is useful and inspires some curiosity in you to explore your own cyclical nature. At the core of cyclical living is finding an approach that works best for you and letting go of anything that doesn’t serve you.
“When we surrender to the natural flow of life, ease becomes the rhythm with which we move with” - Faidah Lawal
Rebecca Moore is a certified yoga, meditation and mindfulness teacher, and co-founder of We Are Formless. Inspired by ancient tradition, her offerings incorporate movement, meditation, breathwork and energy healing, grounded in love, presence and connection. Find out more about Rebecca on her website or Instagram.